Why Vitamin K2 Is Important For Your Heart | Heart Health
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Bet you didn’t even know vitamin K2 existed before you saw this. Here’s why you really need it.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, which is important for blood clotting, and contributes to a healthy heart, immune system, and bones. There are 3 different forms of vitamin K:
- Vitamin K1 – This type is found in its natural form in greens, and is used for blood clotting by the liver.
- Vitamin K2 – Vitamin K2 is a more absorbable form of vitamin K, and is present in organ meats, dairy, egg yolks, and certain fermented foods and supplements. It is beneficial to the bone and heart tissues.
- Vitamin K3 – Menadione, as it is also known, is a synthetic form, and is not recommended.
What is vitamin K2, and why is it important?
Vitamin K2 is made up of 2 protein enzymes – matrix-gla protein (MGP), and osteocalcin – which regulate where calcium ends up in the body. Calcium is an extremely important mineral, and it plays a crucial part in all biological processes. It is more than just a material for bones and teeth. One of the greatest risks for heart disease is the buildup of calcium in the arteries, and in the soft tissues around the heart. Vitamin K2 helps direct the calcium to the bones, where it’s required, and prevents calcified plaque from being deposited around the arteries. If you are vitamin K2 deficient, MGP and osteocalcin won’t function properly, and that could mean trouble for both your cardiovascular system, as well as your bones.
What is coronary artery calcification?
If you don’t have enough vitamin K2 in your body, the proteins that direct the calcium away from the arteries won’t get activated. This will lead to an accumulation of calcium in your arteries, causing coronary artery calcification. The arteries will become narrow and stiff, and blood flow will reduce. This can lead to high blood pressure and heart attacks.
How do you know if you’re vitamin K2 deficient?
There is no easy way to test for this deficiency. As a general rule, you are probably vitamin K2 deficient if you are suffering from the following health issues:
- Heart disease
What should I eat?
We keep saying stay away from eating too much fat because it’s bad for the heart. We avoid eating high-fat dairy, egg yolks, and meat. Unfortunately, these are the foods that are high in vitamin K2. Since vitamin K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin, it needs to be taken with some kind of fat for it to get absorbed by the system. Some of the food-based vitamin K2 sources are:
- Ghee (Premium Cow Ghee 400 ml)
- Hard cheeses, such as brie and gouda
- Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale
- Nattō, which is a fermented soy
- Brussel sprouts
- Prunes (Rostaa Prunes Value Pack 1 kg)
In addition to food-based sources, you should look at supplementing this important nutrient to ensure that the calcium being consumed goes to the bones where it’s needed, and away from your arterial walls. So find your balance between diet and supplements, and work towards a healthier heart and stronger bones.